teddy cover
Publication date: December 17, 2013

Illustrated by C.F. Payne; Little Brown for Young Readers

An accessible introduction to the life of Theodore Roosevelt that will both endear him to young readers through the recounting of his personal life and inspire them through the telling of his professional life. Learn about his childhood, his relationship with his family and his fearless leadership as a progressive and president.


CBC Seasonal Showcase
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
School Library Journal Best Books of 2013
Show Me Missouri Association of School LibrariaMasterlist
Green Earth Book Award Short List
Blue Ribbon List from The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
Children’s Sequoyah Masterlist, Oklahoma Library Association


“President Theodore Roosevelt certainly dared mighty things, and this lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man’s bold, exuberant nature. This is a portrait of a passionate man who wanted to make a difference and did. . . Payne’s expressive, muted paintings-quite grand when showcasing America’s majestic landscapes-are full of warmth and humor befitting the joyful man who declared “No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way.” A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president. “ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Theodore Roosevelt’s big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography. The text neatly balances brevity and information, and key quotes are in a bold font that draws the eye. . . . this is a terrific introduction to a one of America’s most energetic and far-sighted presidents. — Booklist, starred review

“Once again, Rappaport offers an accessible introduction to one of the world’s most influential people, punctuating her poignant narrative with well-chosen quotes that help frame the life of an important figure. Rappaport breathes life into her subject in a way that is sure to spark the interest of the most reluctant reader. Her choice of quotations defines the man’s lively personality and charisma, and Payne’s softly shaded artwork highlights his facial expressions and dramatically captures the robust emotion, good humor, and unstinting courage that are the hallmarks of the 26th president. Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library. – School Library Journal, starred review

“Surely there must be a muse in charge of connecting subject with biographer—that would account for such notable pairings as Isaac Newton with Kathleen Krull or Charles and Emma Darwin with Deborah Heiligman. Now Theodore Roosevelt, whose outsized life demands an oversized format, and whose audacious pronouncements demand a biographer willing to let him speak for himself, finds his way into Doreen Rappaport’s Big Words series, and the match-making goddess scores again.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

See the Rough Riders in 1898 preparing for the Spanish American War.
(Click the play button in the bottom left hand corner of the image below to play.)
[quicktime width=”300″ height=”200″]http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/sawmp/0318.mov[/quicktime]


See the silent film of President Roosevelt’s 4th of July 1903 speech at Huntington, NY:
(Click the play button in the bottom left hand corner of the image below to play.)
[quicktime width=”300″ height=”200″]http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/trmp/4092.mpg[/quicktime]


See the silent footage of Teddy and his son Kermit on their African safari, hunting big game and collecting specimens for the Smithsonian Institution. (Click the play button in the bottom left hand corner of the image below to play.)
[quicktime width=”300″ height=”200″]http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/trmp/4102s1.mpg[/quicktime]


Hear Teddy Roosevelt’s campaign speech in 1912 when he ran on for President on the Bull Moose Party: (Click the play button in the bottom left hand corner of the image below to play.)


Learn More

Big Words Books, Hyperion Teacher’s Guide

Presidents, like all of us, need relaxation. Theodore Roosevelt had a menagerie of animals in his White House of guinea pigs, badgers, dogs and snakes. The families of President Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy also had pets.

teddy cover

Fido“Fido was a mixed breed with floppy ears and a yellowish coat. When fireworks and cannons announced Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the Presidential election of 1860, poor Fido was terrified. The Lincolns were worried that the long train trip to Washington, D.C., combined with loud noises, would terrify Fido. John and Frank Roll, two neighborhood boys, promised to take good care of Fido. Mr. Lincoln made them promise to let Fido inside the house whenever he scratched at the front door, never scold Fido for entering the house with muddy paws, and feed him if he came to the dinner table. The Lincolns gave the Rolls their sofa so Fido would feel at home! Did you know ‘Fido’ is Latin? Fido is from ‘Fidelitas,’ which translates as ‘faithful.’”
From: http://www.nps.gov/abli/planyourvisit/lincoln-pets.htm

For more on Lincoln’s pets go to: http://www.nps.gov/abli/planyourvisit/lincoln-pets.htm

TR family pic

In 1908 Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his son Archie:

“Mother continues much attached to Scamp, who is certainly a cunning little dog. He is very affectionate, but so exceedingly busy when we are out on the grounds, that we only catch glimpses of him zigzagging at full speed from one end of the place to the other. The kitchen cat and he have strained relations but have not yet come to open hostility.”

Abraham Lincoln’s family only had a dog, but President Kennedy’s family, like Theodore Roosevelt’s, had their own menagerie. They brought pet hamsters Debbie and Billie; a gray cat, Tom Kitten; and a canary Robin, to the White House. Later, two ponies named Macaroni and Tex, a Welsh terrier named Charley, a German shepherd named Clipper, a cocker Spaniel named Shannon, two parakeets, and an Irish wolfhound joined them.


You’ve seen the light side of these three presidents. Now learn about how these three presidents used federal power to expand and protect the rights of American citizens…. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for the elimination of legal slavery in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt’s “Square Deal” used federal government to regulate child labor, food production and protect natural resources. John F. Kennedy’s June 1963 speech on civil rights helped to propel the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to pass Congress. The Act provided federal protection against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion and sex and expanded voting rights.


Emancipation Proclamation:



TR’s Square Deal:



JFK’s 1963 Civil Rights Speech:




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